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Posts Tagged ‘originals’

Celebrate Diversity

March 4th, 2015

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Romans 12:6 NIV.

In  diversity, not conformity, is found unity.

My thoughts and comments today are that you “celebrate diversity.”

Your fingerprints are unique from every other person born before and after you. And science has discovered that every individual has a DNA, which is distinct from every other person before and after you. God loves diversity. When God created the universe, “He determined the number of the stars and called them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power.” Psalm 147:4-5 NIV. Read Isaiah 40:26 NIV. At creation, God’s love of diversity is displayed in the innumerable species of plants, animals, birds, and marine life. “Then God looked over all He had made and He saw that it was excellent in every way.” Genesis 1:31 NLT.

Could the disciples Jesus chose be any more diverse? They were fishermen, tax collectors, or political zealots. In the work of the Kingdom of God, “So in Christ . . we have different gifts, according to the grace given us.” Read Romans 12:3-8 NIV. “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all.” Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. To John, the aging disciple imprisoned on Patmos, was shown the end of time, “Before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:9 NIV.

In diversity, not conformity, is found true unity. Diversity is not to distinguish you from others and certainly not to separate you from them; God-given diversity is how you best complement others and contribute meaningfully to their well-being. You serve best out of the uniqueness God designed for you. “Accept one another then, for the glory of God, as Christ has accepted you.” Romans 15:6 TEV. Acceptance offers a powerful release for the full potential Christ has placed in each of us. The acceptance Jesus offers you, He intends for you to offer to others.

Why then are people inclined toward conformity and less accommodating of diversity? I think that tendency may be a vestige of our fallen natures. Something about our native insecurity makes us want to be like everyone else, or want others to conform to us. A copy of anything is never as good as the original from which it was copied. You are an original, uniquely planned and purposed by God. Don’t blend in with the surrounding culture. Don’t adapt to those around you.  Be yourself. Celebrate diversity; conformity is futile. “For we dare not compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” 2 Corinthians 10:12. Don’t compare yourself with others, which causes either pride or disappointment. Nor should you be different for the sake of being different.

The Apostle Paul described, “your spiritual act of worship,” with this Godly counsel, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2-3 NIV. The process of transformation into all that God designed you to be and gifted you to do removes the impulse to conform to the world’s patterns and ways. Be your best self to serve God and bless others.

Here’s the good news of a promised day to come, “Now are we the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2.

Today, my prayer for you is that you discover who God created you to be.

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An Original

September 28th, 2012

“[God] fashions their hearts individually.” Psalm 33:15 NKJV

Pressures can conform you into something other than your God-given uniqueness.

My thoughts and comments today are about “an original.”

I find the endless creativity of God amazing. “He created everything there is. Nothing exists that He didn’t make. Life itself was in Him, and this life gives light to everyone . . For everything comes form Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore. Amen.” John 1:3-4/Romans 11:36 NLT. Of all the people who have lived before you and all who live alongside you, there are no two identical fingerprints. The structure of each and every snowflake is unique to itself. And who but the Creator of all could imagine the limitless possibilities or create the variety of plants, or the species of insects and animals? The things the most creative people make are mere discoveries of what God has created, or adaptations and improvements of what has been made.

Very little is truly original; but you are an original – fashioned by God, made in His image, gifted for achievement, and destined for purpose. There is no one exactly like you, before or after you. Why then would you be willing to be a cheap copy of anyone else? In life, as in art, a copy however masterfully reproduced is of lesser value to the original. You sell yourself short and discredit the One who lovingly made you when you fail to identify and celebrate your originality. The Psalmist marveled at the creativity of God with these words, “The Lord looks from Heaven . . He looks on all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.” Psalm 33:13-15 NKJV.

Read again those words, “[God] fashions their hearts individually.” God doesn’t deal with people en masse – neither by ethnicity, nationality, religion, nor by associations or family. You stand individually made by God and personally responsible to God. Your heart, in its original purity, is fashioned by God personally. The practical application is this: God will work in your heart in ways unique to how He fashioned you to be. God may speak into your heart differently than He makes Himself known to others. God’s way of relating to you will be suited to the personality and temperament that He gave you.

I think Paul’s instruction is relevant, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing, and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 NIV. Internal and external pressures can conform you into something other than the uniqueness with which God endowed you. Maybe you don’t wish to be different, but neither should you default by conforming to others’ opinions or expectations.

By His original design and continuing intent, God is working in your life transformatively, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose . . predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son . .” Romans 8:28-29 NIV. You are an original, yet all of us remain a work in progress, a work of His hands He is faithful to complete. “God, who calls you, is faithful; He will do this.” Read 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 NLT. See 1 John 3:1-3 NIV.

My prayer for you today is that you become only and all that God created you to be.

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Copy or Original?

November 22nd, 2011

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.” Romans 12:2 NLT

“Conformity to this world is the gradual sale of one’s soul by installments.”

My thoughts today ask are you a “copy or original?”

Chameleons are interesting. There are 150 known species and many facts unique to them. Probably the most well known fact is the ability of some species to change their color for social communication or as camouflage for survival. Those species adapt their color to blend with their surroundings, reducing their visibility for cover as a predator or for their safety from a predator. Hence, some people are described as “like a chameleon,” definitely not a compliment.

Here’s the Bible’s advice: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of the world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.” Romans 12:2 NLT. Read that slowly. When you “let God transform you . . by changing the way you think,” only then will you truly discover who you are and, ”what God wants you to do.” God’s will is elusive when you conform yourself to any other will or pleasure.

Conformity evidences that you: embrace a lesser god; display a diminished identity; accept a smaller future; and have compromised your potential. This is the problem. If you don’t have a proper model for who you are and can be, then you will choose companions of convenience rather than example. The Bible warns, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning . .” 1 Corinthians 15:34 NIV.

While busy copying someone else – to fit in, or be popular or accepted by the crowd – you gradually lose any sense of who you are, your uniqueness disappearing little by little. Be careful; when you become a copy of others you compromise your future, selling your soul on installments. Be the original God made you to be. This world – with its behavior and customs – is not your home and neither will it be your friend, for . . “your citizenship is in Heaven . . for this world in its present form is passing away.” See Philippians 3:17-21 NKJV/1 Corinthians 7:31 NIV. You are an original, custom designed by God with no one else exactly like you. Be a priceless original, not a cheap copy.

Jesus is your Example! “For the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose . . to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.” Romans 8:28-30 NIV. Spiritual disciplines are transformative – God’s Word, worship, prayer, Christian fellowship, obedience, Bible meditation, or any spiritual exercise has eternal influence. “We, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV. Choose to be a little more like Jesus everyday; with His help and grace that is do-able.

My prayer for you today is that you are not tempted to be other than as God made you.

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